Luxembourg: Law Amending Certain Paid Leaves

A law aiming at reforming leave for family reasons and certain extraordinary paid leave was published in the official gazette (Mémorial A) on 18 December 2017 (the "Law").

This Law will enter into force on 1 January 2018.

The changes can be summarised as follows:

Repeal of special leave before enrolment for military service

The Law repeals the special leave of one day before enrolment for military services as obligatory military service in Luxembourg no longer exists.

Paternity leave and fostering leave

The Law aims to extend paternity leave and leave for fostering a child under 16 years for adoption purposes (except in the case where adoption leave is taken), which is currently set at two days, to ten days.

The leave may be split and must be taken within two months following the birth or the welcoming of the child (in case of fostering leave). The leave is fixed, in principle, according to the employee's preferences, provided that it does not compromise business needs. If the employer and the employee do not agree on when the leave is to be taken, the leave must be taken immediately after the birth or the welcoming of the child without being split.

The employee must inform the employer in writing two months in advance of the predicted date on which he/she intends to take the leave. This information must be accompanied by a copy of a medical certificate attesting to the presumed date of childbirth or by a document attesting to the date on which the child will be welcomed.

In case of failure to notify the employer within the time limit, the employer may decide to reduce the leave to two days.

The salary paid during the first two days of leave is borne by the employer. The salary paid during the following days will be reimbursed to the employer by the State. The reimbursement is limited to five times the minimum social salary for unqualified workers.

Leave in the event of marriage or declaration of partnership of a child

Currently, employees are entitled to two days of paid leave in the event of marriage or declaration of partnership of their child.

The Law aims to reduce the paid leave to one day which will be due only in the event of marriage of the child. Hence, employees will no longer be entitled to paid leave in the event of declaration of partnership of their child.

Leave for moving house

Currently, employees are entitled to two days of paid leave for moving house.

The Law does not change the number of days but provides that the leave may only be taken once over a three-year-period of employment with the same employer, except in the event of moving house  for professional reasons.

Leave in the event of marriage or declaration of partnership

Currently, employees are entitled to six days of paid leave if they marry or declare a partnership.

The Law intends to reduce this paid leave as follows: three days in the event of marriage and one day in the event of declaration of partnership.

Leave in the event of death of a minor child

Currently, employees are entitled to three days of paid leave in the event of death of a first degree family member.

The Law provides that employees are entitled to five days of paid leave in the event of death of their underage child.

Maternity leave

Currently, Luxembourg law already provides for maternity leave of

  • eight weeks before the scheduled childbirth (prenatal leave) and
  • eight weeks after childbirth (postnatal leave) extended to twelve weeks in case of premature birth or multiple births or where a mother is breastfeeding her child.

The Law aims to harmonise the duration of the post-natal leave to twelve weeks for all women no matter what the case may be (breastfeeding the child or not,...).

Adoption leave

The Law aims to extend adoption leave from the current eight weeks to twelve weeks.

Leave for family reasons (congé pour raisons familiales)

Currently, the Labour Code provides for special leave if an employee's child under age 15 needs the presence of a parent because it is seriously ill, has had an accident or for serious health reasons. The length of this paid leave is two days per year per child.

The Law aims at extending and making leave for family reasons more flexible by providing that:

  • the leave applies to children under the age of 18;
  • the length of the leave will depend on the age of the child: 

    • < 4 years:   12 days per child;
    • 4 - 12 years : 18 days per child;
    • 13 - 18 years: 5 days per child if the child is hospitalised.

Therefore, instead of providing for two days of paid leave per year which are forfeited if the employee does not use them during the calendar year, as is currently the case, the Law provides for a quota of days which can be used at any moment during the age range in question.

The leave may be split but the parents may not take leave for family reasons at the same time.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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